SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has added new features to its mobile app install ads which encourage repeat visits by users, after research showed that two thirds of consumers opened downloaded apps only between one and ten times.

Mobile app install ads were first introduced in mid-2012 with the aim of helping mobile app developers on Facebook increase app discovery and drive downloads, with Facebook being paid when users click on the ads, which take them to the Apple or Google store to download an app.

But, noted Facebook, "businesses are faced with the challenge of getting people to return and remain active within their app".

The greatest uptake has been by producers of mobile games and digital media but Facebook is looking to bring in more business from ecommerce and banking.

The new features enable brands to integrate seven different calls to action to mobile app updates in people's news feeds, including "open link", "use app", "shop now", "play game", "book now", "listen now" and "watch video".

Examples cited of the additional functionality on offer included the ability of a travel brand to drive take up of last minute weekend getaways, a retailer notifying existing users of a promotion or a music app introducing people to a new playlist or song.

Deb Liu, Facebook's director of platform monetisation, explained, in remarks reported by the Financial Times, that banks, for example, could use the ads to highlight a new feature that would draw customers back to a mobile banking app.

"How do you tell app users you have this?" she said. "You could include it in a statement, or you could get it in front of them today."

Liu added that more than 145m third-party apps had been installed by Facebook users since the start of the year, while around 8,400 advertisers had used mobile app ads during the second quarter.

Data sourced from Facebook, Financial Times, Marketing, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff